The Extraordinary Lives Club – two years of showcasing the lives of people who have done, or who are doing extraordinary things…
From inventors and front line journalists, to biological weapons experts and script writers: at MBM we’re delighted to have welcomed individuals from many walks of life to share their fascinating stories with our clients, staff and business contacts. Since we launched the Extraordinary Lives Club around two years ago, we have been thrilled by the quality of speakers and the positive feedback from our guests.
All of the speakers have one thing in common: they have entrepreneurial spirit, and the drive and determination to achieve extraordinary things. By showcasing their lives at the Extraordinary Lives Club, this not only serves to tell an amazing and compelling story, it inspires and encourages those who come along to do the same. Just as importantly, the events allow our guests to connect with each other on a deeper level, and create ample opportunity for interesting discussion and networking.
In the Autumn we had the pleasure of hearing Terry Taylor’s remarkable story: Terry began by explaining his early career in UN peacekeeping operations in the 1960s, and went on to tell of his later experience as an arms control negotiator and a weapons inspector. Terry had some fascinating insights to share about these areas of expertise, with his experiences spanning an incredible 50 years. Many of Terry’s stories and perspectives provided food for thought on topical, global issues, much to the intrigue of the audience. In particular, Terry was personally involved in chemical weapons inspections in Iraq, so he was able to explain from first-hand experience that not everything was as it was reported in the media at the time. Several members of the audience had questions about Terry's time as a weapons inspector, but they also picked-up on the strong link between Terry's varied and diverse experience in the government and the military, and his recent work with UK start-up companies. It was clear that Terry enjoys putting his wealth of knowledge and lessons he has learnt throughout his career into developing the next generation of UK companies. In fact, Terry sits on the board of one of MBM’s clients, and has used his experience in this capacity to help the company navigate the complexities of the continuously evolving technological and global trading environment. All in all, the events (which took place in Edinburgh and London) were a great success and provided an engaging and enjoyable networking platform for all who attended.
Earlier, in the Spring, another fascinating speaker captivated the audience: Tom Thomson delivered a presentation describing, with humour and modesty, his time as a foreign and war correspondent for Reuters and his progression from Head of News Operations in the Americas, to Global Managing Editor. Tom then went on to discuss his ventures as the Chair of a biotech company, consulting editor of a Scottish Media Group, and his time as Chair of the Scottish National Orchestra (for which he has received an OBE for services to music).
2018 has seen us extend our Extraordinary Lives programme from Edinburgh to London, where Virgin Money Start-up has kindly lent us the Virgin Money Lounge to host our events. Virgin Money Start-up helps entrepreneurs with the funding, resources and advice they’ll need to make their business idea a reality. So, what better place to hear the stories of those with true entrepreneurial spirit?
The Extraordinary Lives Club began in early 2017 with author, film producer and screen writer Paul Pender serving as our ‘extraordinary’ individual for the evening. Paul spoke of his career writing a number of globally successful TV shows and films, including one starring Piers Brosnan! The main focus of his talk was his experience interviewing, on a number of occasions, serial killer Roy Fontaine. This was done with the intention of writing Fontaine’s life story, however the interviews took a sinister turn when Fontaine turned on Paul and threatened him. Thankfully, Paul survived and documented his encounters in his book ‘The Butler did it’. With the success of our first event with Paul, we then went on to host a further event with Alison Hunter-Gordon. Alison is the daughter of Valerie Hunter-Gordon, who, in 1947, invented the World’s first disposable nappy: a truly entrepreneurial endevour that has arguably been one of the most “disruptive” inventions of the past 100 years and changed the lives of countless parents and carers. With obituaries to Valerie published in some of the World’s most prestigious newspapers, it was fascinating to hear Alison speak of her mother’s drive and courage to step outside what was expected of women at that time.
As 2018 draws to a close we would like to thank all of our Extraordinary Lives for providing us with such fascinating, entertaining and often untold stories, and for inspiring us to look beyond our comfort zones and challenge ourselves. We’re already thinking about the extraordinary lives we’re planning to showcase next year – watch this space!
If you’d simply like to attend our next event, please get in touch with Rebecca.Miles@mbmcommercial.co.uk to be added to our database. We look forward to seeing you soon!